We all know, there is a thin line between NLP and hypnosis. As NLP practitioners we are all familiar with the Milton model, a set of hypnotic patterns widely used actually in communication, even outside of the NLP world. We even know we actually are spontaneously letting ourselves under hypnosis regularly during our day (pg 181), for instance, when watching movies… or listening to some radio… or sometimes, and that can be a problem, when we are driving in that autopilot mode, listening to a tune on the radio… or simply when we found ourselves daydreaming playing on a Huku balancing board… But… what is really hypnosis? what is truly behind the myth? And yes there is a myth, the myth that hypnosis can take over your mind, or control you, or that only weak mind can be hypnotized…The good news? It is really a myth!
The Wizard Within, from Dr. A.M. Krasner, is a must read if you want to understand what is hypnosis, how it works and how you can benefit from it. For me hypnosis is a great way to communicate directly with the unconscious mind, by-passing the sometimes over-determined conscious mind. Dr. A.M. Krasner states the same more theoretically ‘For thousands of years, philosophers and intellectuals have known that thoughts can control the body’s functions and human behaviour – that within us all there is the potential to uplift, heal and inspire others as well as ourselves. That this potential flows throughout all mankind gives us the assurance that there is no such thing as a totally helpless situation or an insurmountable problem. Hypnosis is considered to be the best tool to access, mobilize and actualize this potential’ (pg ix). Through his book, the author lifts off the veil of mysticism, bringing scientific information to support his points.
How does it start? First, with a great introduction on hypnosis (chapter one) by defining it and listing the components within the myth, let’s say the fear behind hypnosis. I particularly like this quotes from Clark Hull ‘All sciences alike have descended from magic and superstition, but none has been so slow as hypnosis in shaking off the evil association of its origin’ (pg 4). Then, a great summary on the history of hypnosis, and with this the author makes the first breakthrough point, thanks to the French pharmacist Coué ‘All hypnosis is self-hypnosis’ (pg 17). With chapter three the author reviews the power of suggestion, the famous ‘change the input, change the output’ and still from Coué, lists the laws of suggestion 1) the law of concentrated attention (yes in NLP, the goals stated in positive sentence) 2) the law of reverse effect (the battle between imagination and will power, the famous battle that lead Milton Erickson to understand fully the power of suggestion and active imagination, so stay tuned for more on this great story with our next post!) 3) the law of dominant effect (linking suggestion with strong emotion and making that emotion dominant). This chapter will remind many NLP practitioner of the NLP model of communication. It clearly links hypnosis and how we create our model of the world, using this information to unleash latter on the power of hypnosis. Hypnosis has all to do with imagination, active imagination, and those of you fan of Jung will make the connection here. The following chapters (up to seven) bring a more scientific approach to the question of hypnosis, still focusing on how we create our experiences. With chapter eight, Dr. A.M. Krasner jumps into the fun by explaining how to formulate suggestions… They have to be -specific -positive -realistic -repetitive -and in present tense. Does that echo something? You’re right, this is exactly the way we are told to formulate our goals, and when you apply it you simply self-hypnotize yourself using the power of suggestions. I told you, you are already doing hypnosis! In the remaining sections of the book, the author digs further on method of hypnosis, concluding with a consequent chapter on self-hypnosis, full of tips on how to use hypnosis by yourself to assist you in your life for the better.
As Dr. A.M. Kraser wrote ‘Voltaire said, “When I can do what I want to do, there is my liberty for me.” There can be no liberty to enjoy your life as long as you feel that you are chained to self-defeating habits and attitudes. When you are motivated to change, you can do so. This is not difficult if your desired is strong enough.’ ‘Change begins with you.’ (pg 171) ‘Your life is the direct result of your previous and present thoughts, desires and emotions.’ (pg 176)